Press Release

You know that you have arrived when you start getting press releases. Especially when they are actually things that you care about…

DRINKERS are being encouraged to cut their booze consumption during Alcohol-Free Week.

The week will be launched Wednesday 21 February 2007 to coincide with the season of Lent when, traditionally, observers abstain from some indulgence such as drinking alcohol.

During Alcohol-Free Week people are being encouraged to give up alcohol for one day, a weekend or for a full week.

The event is sponsored by The Alcohol-Free Shop and is supported by the NHS Drinking Responsibly Project, the national charity FAS Aware that highlights the dangers of alcohol in pregnancy, Manchester City Council, and Manchester Drug and Alcohol Strategy Team.

A new website to promote the campaign has been set up where visitors can find information about the health impact of excess alcohol consumption and enter a competition to win a supply of alcohol-free beer. The web site also has links to support groups for those worried about their own or someone else's drinking.

In its first year, Alcohol-Free Week has been adopted by Manchester City Council as part of its 100 Day Challenge to tackle anti-social behaviour. It is intended to make Alcohol-Free Week an annual event involving health organisations and local authorities across the UK.

John Risby, who launched The Alcohol-Free Shop in May 2006, said: “A lot of people make new year's resolutions to reduce their alcohol intake, lose weight and improve their fitness but after a few weeks, often their good intentions fail. Lent is a good time to give it another go.

“Alcohol-Free Week is intended to encourage people to become more conscious of their own drinking and the impact it may be having on their health and the well being of those close to them.

“Health experts say that even moderate drinkers should have one or two alcohol- free days a week. We're hoping that, during Alcohol-free Week, people will avoid alcohol on at least one day and that avoiding alcohol at least some of the time will become a lifestyle choice.”

Liz Burns from the NHS Drinking Responsibly project said, “We know that people want reliable information and environments that support responsible drinking.

“There is more to drinking responsibly than just soft drinks, so whether you own a pub or off-licence or you're in your own home, stock up on a range of quality alcohol-free drinks to help pace your drinks or for that alcohol free day.

“Unless our drinking habits change, liver disease may overtake coronary heart disease as the major cause of early death in the next decade”.

Councillor Pat Karney, who heads Manchester City Council's Social Strategy Committee, said: “Like a lot of people I have enjoyed drinking so it's not a question of moralising or being judgmental. It's good from time to time for everybody to check their alcohol intake to see if there are any problems. This week provides a great opportunity to do that.”

18 thoughts on “Press Release”

  1. Did you read the recommended alcohol limits:”Alcohol is measured in units. Men are advised to stay within 3 to 4 units in any one day. Women are advised to stay within 2 to 3 units a day.”

    So by that rule one pint of Stella (yuk) thats your lot, half if you are a girl.

    If they want people to take any notice, they need to be more realistic. I don't know anyone who would drink less than 3 or 4 pints on a night out. Problem drinkers would drink considerably more than that!

    Beer is an acquired taste, there lots of good stuff and lots of horrid beers out there.

    The spam gets better when it list suggestions on what to do instead of drinking:

    In the Pub:

    Try alcohol free drinks – Conflict of interest?

    Play games such as darts/pool/dominoes – Because landlords love people coming into their premises and not drinking. Also darts players are renouned teetotlers.

    At lunch time attend a recital – I'd be less worried about the alcohol they are drinking and more worried about the crack their smoking.

    After work:

    Organise a game with colleagues such as five-a-side football

    Join a group such as an art/music/language class

    Sounds good, pub after?

    At home: Stock up on alcohol free drinks

    After Sport: Quench your thirst with alcohol free drinks

    Why not, I know a really good online shop!

  2. Hi tom – have you heard about this?This Act will come into force on Tuesday, 20 February 2007.

    The Emergency Workers (Obstruction) Act 2006 contains two new offences. First the Act makes it an offence to obstruct or hinder certain emergency workers who are responding to emergency circumstances. Emergency workers are defined as firefighters, ambulance workers and those transporting blood, organs or equipment on behalf of the NHS, coastguards and lifeboat crews.

    The police already have their own obstruction offence in the Police Act 1996. This also covers prison officers by virtue of the Prisons Act 1952, which says that prison officers, whilst acting as such, enjoy the same protections and privileges as a constable.

    The Act covers obstruction when an emergency worker is responding to emergency circumstances or preparing to do so. Emergency circumstances are defined as circumstances which are present or imminent, and which are causing or are likely to cause death or serious injury or serious illness, worsen any serious injury or illness, or are likely to cause or worsen serious harm to the environment, buildings or property.

    Second, the Act also makes it an offence to hinder or obstruct those who are assisting emergency workers responding to emergency circumstances. This will cover obstructing those who, for example, are fetching or directing traffic during an incident to assist the emergency workers.

  3. Another 'encourage' approach.How effective will this be? Will it 'encourage' the hardened drinkers? Lager louts? Alcoholics? Will it stop the nightly drink fueled violence that keeps Tom away from the needy?Another softly, softly approach.Does anyone with authority in this country had the guts to get up and do something effective? Like Boot Camp for the drink sodden fisticuffers.It would certainly make our ambulance personnel a lot happier. They could attend to more blue babies and less to inebriated trash laying in gutters.

  4. Thats not a press release, thats a thinly disguised advert for an online shop. Shame on you for posting their ad.It is quite a fun read though, it seems that if you eat a wine gum a day you'll turn into a woman raping syphalis riddled suicidal impotent murder victim.

    Oh and you could win a supply of alcohol free beer. Wop de doo, thats like winning an engine free car.

  5. I agree with your first point.Your second confuses me though – did we read the same thing? I thought they were on about cutting down on alcohol, not cutting it out altogether.

    As for the third, I can't really hold an opinion, as I regard all beers I have ever tried as tasting absolutely horrible. Seriously. Sod the alcohol part, how can anyone put that stuff in their mouths?

  6. I'm lucky if I get 1 drink on 1 day per week, let alone have an alcohol free day. How does anyone manage to fit all this booze in? Let alone afford it?

  7. The way I see it is that yes, it may be based around an alcohol free shop – but is that a bad thing? If it gets people thinking about how much they drink then it's not a bad thing.I reproduced it as full so that people could make their own minds up about it.

  8. It's a nice idea, but I wonder who is going to be enforcing it? It's an offence to spit on the street, but you don't often see people caught doing it.(Although if I were a copper I'd spend half my time dealing with that and littering – just to be bloody-minded…)

  9. I'm not a big drinker either, I really have to be in the mood, and more often than not I'm driving anyway.I often go to the pub in the day time to meet with a friend or two – it's a change of scenery and it's good to meet with friends for a chat. The alcohol seems unnecessary though, its the social aspect thats important we usually have hot chocolate or cappuccino. We still manage to have a good laugh though, and spend lots of money! Those hot drinks are nearly 2 quid a time!

    If I go to a pub in the evening I usually stick to soft drinks because of driving. Again, I still have fun though.

  10. I have never understood the alcohol argument, the pretentions surrounding its consumption, and the delusions that the upmarket drinking brigade create for themselves. Were heroin to be legalised, I am sure that it would not be too long before some nyaff was writing in the Times Supplement of “A smooth, mature, blended heroin – a treat in store for the experienced, discerning i-v shooter. The heady, spicy, golden aura, typical of the soils of the western slopes of the lower Hindu Kush, is wonderfully offset by the gentle, perfumed feel of new varieties now coming from Turkestan. The whole is carried in a marvellous matrix of powdered brick, imported at huge expense from a demolition site in Sharjah, and producing a hit that can only be descibed as “An Experience.”My first attempt; I reckon that it compares rather well with the kind of rubbish otherwise intelligent people write about wine, whisky, etc. What do you think?

    Booze – no matter how much you are daft enough to pay for it – is 99% water and ethanol, contaminated with 1% organic and inorganic traces (Except vodka, which is just ethanol and water – it comes out of the plumbing and straight on to the shelf – no “cask maturing” or other nonsense – which is why it is so cheap. However, if you are determined to be daft, you are perfectly free to pay well over the odds for it because it is “triple distilled” or something”)

    The purpose of drinking booze is to get drunk – mildly, merrily, or legless. Anyone who believes or preaches otherwise is kidding only his or herself. Other than knowing the effects that booze has on your personality, what exactly does “drink responsibly” mean, anyway? More often than not, it is social context, not booze, that is the problem; the person who can get happily and harmlessly paralytic at a family get- together may also be the one attempting to bottle the opposition after just two lagers prior to a football match. Furthermore, many people slug back the ale in order to get themselves to the point where they are brave enough to behave the way they really want to. Is that responsible, irresponsible, or just another aspect of the happy state of being human?

    Booze would probably be listed as a “Class A Substance”if it didn't grow on trees. It is a CNS depressant whose downing effect – amazingly – is to depress our inhibitions, allowing us to say what we think, to do what we ought, and to stop being mim-mouthed and clench-ar**d for a while. It has several advantages over other Class A Substances:

    1. Nature makes it freely available; leave most plants lying around for a while – particularly the sugary bits – and you get booze. This means that it is as cheap as you want it to be, and difficult to prohibit. (Wine appreciation lesson – buy the one that gives you the most alcohol for the least money – after the first couple of mouthfulls, you'll not care about the taste. Oh – and to get the proper effect, you need to DRINK it, not sniff at it!)

    2. You need to consume huge quantities of it (cf only 100mg of heroin) to get any appreciable effect. Furthermore, if you o/d on it, the chances are that you will survive the experience (at least – you will if your stomach contents are vomited down your hostess's loo, rather than over her new settee). Not an option with heroin or coke.

    3. If you take too much of it, it kicks you in the head, makes you proper poorly, and improves your chances of being more “sensible” the next time.

    4. It is so easily detected by someone who has not had a drink (eg a copper, the works foreman, your spouse) that – despite what some would have you believe – most people use booze very carefully.

    Some other thoughts:-

    1. Human beings are the only animals capable of metabolising large amounts of ethanol without harm.

    2. In the space between the stars, the commonest molecule is molecular hydrogen, followed by water, methane, ammonia, methanol, and ethanol. There are billions of tons of the stuff floating between us and Barnard's Star.

    3. The Miracle at Caana.

    4. Booze wrecks lives – but only a few; I'd back it against:- politics, war, bombs, bullets, unwanted babies, matrimony, landmines, asbestos, abuse, and stupidity any day. I'd happily debate that it does far more good than harm. It makes you acceptable to me, and me acceptable to you.

    “If “Booze” is the answer, it was probably a damn' good question” (Dean Martin).

  11. It has been law in Scotland for a year, and – believe me – it REALLY gets enforced. Do to an emergency worker what would earn you 50hrs Community Service if you did it to anyone else, and I can assure you that our Sheriff will put you in the chokey for 3 months. One of our nuisances got 150hrs just for swearing at my partner, and was warned by the Sheriff that any repetition would guarantee her a custodial sentence. A nyaff who sprawled himself across the bonnet of an ambulance, stopping it moving off, got 4 months.

  12. Yep, we were reading different things – I only paid proper attention to the part Reynolds has reproduced here, suggesting one or two nights a week without drinking, which doesn't seem drastic.

  13. Kevin, I have to ask… What's a “nyaff”?..back on track, Mr Kittybif is teetotal which makes drinking little really very easy for me. Comes a point (usually just after graduation) when it's no longer funny to make your sober partner carry you home, hold your hair back and make soothing comments as you make your peace with the gods of Tikka and/or Doner.. Plus, I prefer to be a little more in control of myself and events – being totally hammered just doesn't appeal any more.

  14. I am drinking booze now and it's not to get drunk. It's just lovely with my dinner after a busy enjoyable day. When I am out I drink booze, water and tea all at one sitting. People laugh, I worry not. Bath and bed next.

  15. Oh, yes it is, though, in your case, in the present context, only mildly. “It's just lovely” = “I'm getting very slightly mangled” (With a bit of luck, it also includes “And I feel all the better for it”).In a previous job, I used frequently to find myself alone, in the evening, in hotel lounges. I then found the combination of coffee with whisky in it, the “Telegraph” crossword, and the radio playing quietly the nearest thing to heaven imaginable. (Especially if I managed to complete the crossword!)

  16. I'm sure that you can guess from the context. However, a full, accurate, and proper definition would, of course, be “a shilpit wee bauchle.”Oh, all right then – “a total plonker” – “a complete waste of space.” Lallands Scots is – in certain areas – so much more expressive than The Queen's English

  17. Soft drinks in pubs, gah. The profit margin on a pint of beer is maybe 50% or 60%. The profit margin on a pint of Coca-Cola is more like 95%. I have no idea what it is on a hot chocolate or cappuccino but I bet it's similar… plus odds are the landlord won't have any trouble/vomit/etc from those of us who are on soft drinks only. Grrr.

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